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Classic Games (Games)

Pac-Man's Ghost Behavior Algorithms 194

An anonymous reader writes "This article has a very interesting description of the algorithms behind the ghosts in Pac-Man. I had no idea about most of this information, but that's probably because it's difficult to study the ghosts when I die every 30 seconds. Quoting: 'The ghosts are always in one of three possible modes: Chase, Scatter, or Frightened. The "normal" mode with the ghosts pursuing Pac-Man is Chase, and this is the one that they spend most of their time in. While in Chase mode, all of the ghosts use Pac-Man's position as a factor in selecting their target tile, though it is more significant to some ghosts than others. In Scatter mode, each ghost has a fixed target tile, each of which is located just outside a different corner of the maze. This causes the four ghosts to disperse to the corners whenever they are in this mode. Frightened mode is unique because the ghosts do not have a specific target tile while in this mode. Instead, they pseudorandomly decide which turns to make at every intersection.'"

Submission + - Octopus Steals Pirates' Files, Creator Arrested (

An anonymous reader writes: Ikatako is a virus that spreads through Japanese P2P network winny aided by the pirates' lack of wit. Once downloaded and run, the virus sends their data to a central server and replaces it with cephalopod and cnidarian imagery. Japanese hacker and virus creator, Masato Nakatsuji, thought he wouldn't be arrested this time. However, Japanese police considered the files in Japanese Pirates' hard drives were more important than his manga depictions of octopods and other tentacled fauna. They charged him with property destruction of digital files, whatever that is supposed to mean.
Operating Systems

OpenBSD 4.7 Released 143

An anonymous reader writes "The release of OpenBSD 4.7 was announced today. Included in this release are support for more wireless cards, the loongson platform, pf improvements, many midlayer filesystem improvements including a new dynamic buffer cache, dynamic VFS name cache rewrite and NFS client stability fixes, routing daemon improvements including the new MPLS label distribution protocol daemon (ldpd) and over 5,800 packages. Please help support the project by ordering your copy today!"

Do Gamers Want Simpler Games? 462

A recent GamePro article sums up a lesson that developers and publishers have been slowly learning over the last few years: gamers don't want as much from games as they say they do. Quoting: "Conventional gaming wisdom thus far has been 'bigger, better, MORE!' It's something affirmed by the vocal minority on forums, and by the vast majority of critics that praise games for ambition and scale. The problem is, in reality its almost completely wrong. ... How do we know this? Because an increasing number of games incorporate telemetry systems that track our every action. They measure the time we play, they watch where we get stuck, and they broadcast our behavior back to the people that make the games so they can tune the experience accordingly. Every studio I've spoken to that does this, to a fault, says that many of the games they've released are far too big and far too hard for most players' behavior. As a general rule, less than five percent of a game's audience plays a title through to completion. I've had several studios tell me that their general observation is that 'more than 90 percent' of a game's audience will play it for 'just four or five hours.'"
Open Source

OpenBSD 4.7 Preorders Are Up 191 writes "The OpenBSD 4.7 pre-orders are up. That means the release is done, sent off to CD production, and snapshots will turn -current again. Order now and you more likely than not will have your CD set, T-shirt or other cool stuff before the official release date. You get the chance to support the most important free software project on the planet, and get your hands on some cool playables and wearables early. The release page is still being filled in, but the changelog has detailed information about the goodies in this release."

OpenSSH 5.4 Released 127

HipToday writes "As posted on the OpenBSD Journal, OpenSSH 5.4 has been released: 'Some highlights of this release are the disabling of protocol 1 by default, certificate authentication, a new "netcat mode," many changes on the sftp front (both client and server) and a collection of assorted bugfixes. The new release can already be found on a large number of mirrors and of course on'"

Breaking the Squid Barrier 126

An anonymous reader writes "Dr. Steve O'Shea of Auckland, New Zealand is attempting to break the record for keeping deep sea squid alive in captivity, with the goal of being able to raise a giant squid one day. Right now, he's raising the broad squid, sepioteuthis australis, from egg masses found in seaweed. This is a lot harder than it sounds, because the squid he's studying grow rapidly and eat only live prey, making it hard for them to keep the squid from becoming prey themselves. If his research works out, you might one day be able to visit an aquarium and see giant squid."

Submission + - How Easy Is It To Cheat In CS? ( 1

Pinky3 writes: The New York Times has an article on cheating in CS at Stanford, "The Temptation to Cheat in Computer Science Classes at Stanford." Here is a classic quote from one student: “I wasn’t even thinking of how it [sic] easy it would for me to be caught,” he said. One interesting strategy discussed is for the professor is to make the final count for more of the final grade each time cheating is discovered. Share your experiences as a student and/or as a instructor.

Using Infrared Cameras To Find Tastiness of Beef 108

JoshuaInNippon writes "Might we one day be able to use our cell phone cameras to pick out the best piece of meat on display at the market? Some Japanese researchers seem to hope so. A team of scientists is using infrared camera technology to try and determine the tastiest slices of high-grade Japanese beef. The researchers believe that the levels of Oleic acid found within the beef strongly affect the beef's tenderness, smell, and overall taste. The infrared camera can be tuned to pick out the Oleic acid levels through a whole slab, a process that would be impossible to do with the human eye. While the accuracy is still relatively low — a taste test this month resulted in only 60% of participants preferring beef that was believed to have had a higher level of Oleic acid — the researchers hope to fine tune the process for market testing by next year."

7 of the Best Free Linux Calculators 289

An anonymous reader writes "One of the basic utilities supplied with any operating system is a desktop calculator. These are often simple utilities that are perfectly adequate for basic use. They typically include trigonometric functions, logarithms, factorials, parentheses and a memory function. However, the calculators featured in this article are significantly more sophisticated with the ability to process difficult mathematical functions, to plot graphs in 2D and 3D, and much more. Occasionally, the calculator tool provided with an operating system did not engender any confidence. The classic example being the calculator shipped with Windows 3.1 which could not even reliably subtract two numbers. Rest assured, the calculators listed below are of precision quality."

Feathered Dinosaurs Were Venomous Predators 8

Dananjaya writes "Early dinosaurs weren’t just covered in feathers. They were also poisonous. Analysis of skulls belonging to different species of Sinornithosaurus, a group of feathered predatory theropods that lived 125 million years ago in what is now northeast China, shows skeletal features reminiscent of modern rear-fanged snakes and lizards."

Submission + - French Military Donated Code to Thunderbird ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: A new email client unveiled by Mozilla last week contains code from an unusual source, the French military, which decided the open source product was more secure than Microsoft's rival Outlook. The French government is beginning to move to other open source software, including Linux instead of Windows and OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Office. Thunderbird 3 used some of the code from TrustedBird, generalized version of Thunderbird with security extensions built by the french military.

Comment Re:Wait... (Score 1) 194

Well, there is a theory of spacetime that everything that has or will or is happening exists simultaneously. So time paradoxes are impossible.

So, we may have discovered the Higgs boson, and then "nature" undid the discovery afterwards, by stopping it from being discovered in the first place. We'd never "know" that the Higgs boson had been discovered, but it WAS discovered. We just don't have access to that event in spacetime.

Yeah, it's nutty. But the physics all work out.

Comment Re:I smell double standards (Score 1, Insightful) 124

Ahhh common ignornace.

Your location on the globe (what your countries laws are) and what type of material you are dealing with (print, versus audio, versus other artwork) play into the length of copyright.

Just because Disney has fucked up your country doesn't mean those rules apply to anyone else.

A rock store eventually closed down; they were taking too much for granite.